The French expression conjures up a repugnant image of someone urinating into a violin. An earlier form of the expression conveyed the idea of blowing air into this stringed instrument, something that would not make the violin play music either. The real meaning is doing something useless or ineffective.
I received this link this morning: A (proposed) Open Letter regarding the Restoration of the Sarum Rite by Bernard Brandt. The effort is valiant, and I admire Bernard Brandt for trying it even though Fr Sean Finnegan and his correspondent in Rome gave up.
I am reminded of the scene in the film 1492 where Christopher Columbus is rehearsing an explanation of his seafaring project for the theologians and the dreaded Spanish Inquisition:
Columbus: I believe the Indies are no more than 750 leagues west of the Canary Islands.
Antonio de Marchena: How can you be so certain?
Columbus: The calculations of Toscanelli, Marin de Tyr, Esdras…
Antonio de Marchena: Esdras is a Jew…
Columbus: So was Christ.
Antonio de Marchena: Two minutes and you’re already a dead man.
Columbus: For telling the truth?
Antonio de Marchena: Yes. They are burning people for less. The men you are about the confront have no emotions. You must learn to control your passion.
Columbus: Passion is something one cannot control.
Bernard Brandt’s letter is measured. Certainly he should try it, because he doesn’t risk being tortured or burned at the stake. At least that. The big problem is that there is no popular movement for the Use of Sarum, nor is there an idea that availability might arouse interest.
I believe it is a lost cause in the Roman Catholic Church. My doing it as a priest in the Anglican Catholic Church is tolerated, but no one else seems to be interested. There have been conferences and talks in Church of England and Episcopal Church circles. I celebrate it myself, but I hold little hope for the future. Sarum has been utterly crushed by the juggernaut of the Reformation and the Counter Reformation. Until the 1960’s, Rome regulated the liturgy like Brussels EU-dom regulates the size and shape of vegetables. Now it’s the Novus Ordo.
I wish him luck, but I won’t be holding my breath.